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Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue
Pipe & Drum Band

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E-Mail: Jim Clark

Palm Beach County Pipe and Drum Logo

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What is the tartan that the band wears?
The PBCFR Pipe and Drum band wears the MacPhersons tartan:
MacPherson tartan

Badenoch, Scotland is the home of the MacPhersons who claim to have been the early chiefs of Clan Chattan before that clan name came under Mackintosh leadership. The family of Cluny is the chief branch but there are many important and famous branches. The MacPhersons were Royalists and aided the Royal Stuarts during the Jacobite Risings of 1715 and 1745. After the 1745 rising, Cluny MacPherson, who assistend Prince Charlie to escape, was in hidiing on his own estate for nine years and a reward of £1,000 was offered for his capture. Cluny Castle was burned by Government troops, but was later rebuilt. In 1784, the estates that had been forfeited were restored, but were dold on the death of the 17th chief in .

For more information about the MacPherson clan, please read this Wikipedia article.

The band also sometimes wears PBI bunker gear kilts that the members purchase on their own.

Do I have to be a firefighter to join?
It is strongly encouraged, but you may be a firefighter with any department or retired.
Do I have to be a local firefighter to join?
The band has two types of memberships available. Regular membership and for those outside of our normal area, we have a satellite membership. Satellite members may perform with the band when in their area and may wear their local tartan. Some people have joined as satellite members from long distance just to be a part of a Florida firefighter pipe band.
What will I be required to purchase to get started?
Initially, if you are a piping student you will be required to purchase a practice chanter and a tutor book or drum pad and sticks. The cost for these items is approximately $90.00.
How much will my lessons cost?
There is no cost for lessons for band members. Teaching is initially done on a one-on-one basis, until you have progressed to the point of group sessions. Then you will attend regular practice with the rest of the band members.
When will I know when I'm ready to progress from the practice chanter to the bagpipe?
The Pipe Major and instructor will decide when you have progressed to the point where you should consider purchasing your bagpipes. Although it depends on the student, most are ready to make this transition in approximately one year. You will be given ample notice, in order to allow you time to research your options. Once you've purchased your pipes, your student lesson will include instruction on the bagpipe.
Will someone teach me how to care for, and tune, my bagpipe or drum?
Such information will be dispensed in the normal day-to-day operation of the Band. However, if you have specific questions/issues, feel free to address these with any senior piper or drummer in the Band. These are items that can be addressed after normal practice.
What's expected of me?
We expect the band to receive a reasonable priority when scheduling your activities. If you are unable to attend a band function please contact your section leader (Pipe/Drum Sergeant), the Pipe Major or any member of the board. Some engagements stipulate the number of players, so it is important that we be able to count on you if you have committed to a performance. Attendance is of importance during your student training as well, since special provisions are made to have an instructor available to you at practice.
How soon will I be able to perform with the band?
That depends on how quickly you progress in your training. The Pipe Major or Drum Sergeant will determine when you have reached the proficiency level required to perform with the band.
Who buys the instruments?
Members buy their own instruments.
Does the band compete?
No. It is not in keeping with the primary goals of this organization to participate in competition as a group. However, should you wish to compete on an individual basis at some point in time, it will be at your discretion and will be encouraged for the learning experience it provides.